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Hardik Patel Appointed Working President of Congress's Gujarat Unit with Immediate Effect

File photo of Congress leader Hardik Patel.

File photo of Congress leader Hardik Patel.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday approved a proposal to nominate Hardik Patel as the working president of the party's Gujarat state unit.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday approved a proposal to nominate Hardik Patel as the working president of the party's Gujarat state unit.

Patel has been appointed as the Working President of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect. Amit Chavda is currently the chief of the state unit.

Patel, 26, participated in and led the Patidar reservation agitation in Gujarat.

Ending decades of ambiguity, the Congress in the state has decided to build its social coalition around the economically resourceful Patidar community by this appointment.

Patel, who joined the Congress ahead of the last Lok Sabha elections, had spearheaded a campaign in Gujarat seeking reservation for the community in government jobs and educational institutions.

With Paresh Danani leading the party in the state assembly, both the top positions in the state are now occupied by the leaders of the Patidar community. Danani is a legislator from Saurashtra region while Patel comes from north Gujarat.

The last 20 years of Congress politics in the state has been influenced by Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel who maintains a low profile.

The decision effectively dismantles the four-decade KHAM (Kharshtriya-Harijan-Aadivani-Muslim) combination built by former Congress Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki to challenge Patidar dominance in state politics. The BJP had then sought to mobilise the Patels to continue an uninterrupted stint in Gujarat politics.

But with Prime Minister Narendra Modi moving to Delhi and his successor Anandiben Patel sent on gubernatorial assignments, the state is being led by Vijay Rupani.

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